Get Baked: Vegetable and Lentil Pasta

I’ve always been apprehensive about lentils. I partly blame The Young Ones; Neil always cooked lentils for his flatmates and they hated it, and I think this fact seeped into my subconscious as a young person and took away any desire I might have had to cook or eat lentils in the future. But now that’s changed! I stumbled across this recipe for a vegetarian lentil pasta and discovered that lentils really aren’t that bad after all. In fact they’re kinda delicious.

Lentil and Vegetable Pasta

Adapted from a recipe on Taste

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium eggplant, diced
1 large zucchini, diced
300g mushrooms, diced
A handful of yellow squash, diced
I cup of broccoli florets
1 brown onion, diced
2 fresh tomatoes, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3/4 cup red lentils, washed and drained
700g bottle of passata (tomato puree)
Pasta (whatever kind you like, I’ll use anything but spaghetti)
Parmesan cheese

Prep notes: Serves 4 – 5 people. You can pretty much use whatever vegetables you like for this recipe, I usually go with whatever is in season / affordable. This is meant to be a chunky sauce, so don’t dice the vegetables too finely or they’ll vanish. 2cm cubes are good.

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan (med heat) and then stir up the garlic and onion for 5 minutes, or until soft. Add in the mushrooms and eggplant and stir for 5 minutes, then add in the zucchini and squash and stir for another 2 minutes.

2. Add in the passata, fresh tomato, lentils and about 1/2 cup of water. Once the liquid has started bubbling, reduce the heat to med-low and cook with the lid on for about 20 minutes. Pour yourself a drink and get comfortable beside the stove, ’cause if you don’t stir the sauce every few minutes the lentils are gonna stick. (But don’t stir it too enthusiastically, or else the eggplant and zucchini will turn to mush.)

3. At the 15 minute mark, check out the sauce. How does it look? Have the lentils sucked up too much the liquid? Sometimes that happens. If so, throw in a little more water. Now would be a good time to get your pasta on the boil, and to season the sauce with salt and/or pepper, if you think it needs it.

4. Test to make sure the lentils are tender/edible, then add in the broccoli and cook uncovered for a further 5 minutes.

5. Put the pasta in a bowl, cover it with a generous amount of sauce and then some parmesan on top. Now eat.

6. Freeze any left-over sauce or eat it on toast for breakfast.

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Founding member. Former writer. Still loves Autostraddle with her whole heart.

Crystal has written 320 articles for us.


  1. After Neil poured the cleaner into the pot of lentils I couldn’t eat them for so long!

  2. Mmm I can’t wait until I get a chance to try this out! I’m a pretty big lentil fan, and the veggie combination looks delicious.

  3. Lentils and pasta and eggplant. AGAIN! Look, I understand that we are all poor, cooking on a budget is sometimes hard but doesn’t have to be like this anymore. Get rid of those lentils start cooking fish cheap meat cuts and for sheesh’s sake no more lentils! (unless it’s in a soup your grandmother made for you that you’ve had in our freezer for months). This reputable site need a reputable food writer. Get someone that knows something about flavours and depth. Use colourful ingredients and I repeat, no more lentils! You are not excited to eat this.

    • ugh. the executive editor in me wants to direct you to all the recipes we’ve kindly shared that involved meats — cheap or otherwise — so you’ll know that a) you’re wrong and b) we’re a helpful group of editors. but the normal girl in me just wants to make you eat this doritos casserole for a week so you’ll know that a) leaving comments like this won’t get you anywhere and b) one time i made a doritos casserole.

      you know?

      so i’m just going to do neither.

      • well, I was going for *neat or maybe imagine there to be another ‘ed’ on need, that might work as well, eww possibly?
        Idk foreigner speaking here

    • 1) I love lentils and am always looking to get more of them in my diet. 2) I love eggplant. 3) You’re wrong–I’m super excited about this recipe and was just about to send it to my mom. :) I’m sorry that you think a dish doesn’t have “depth” or isn’t using “colorful ingredients” if it doesn’t contain meat, but some of us really enjoy these recipes.

  4. Neat, I’m looking for different ways to use lentils. I use them only for dhal/curry and one day I’ll try them in veggie burgers.

    Hmm what about a lentil smoothie… that would be a challenge hehehe.
    Not gross, think soy milk!

  5. I love that all the measurements are in metric. (God, I love metric) This is probably true for all of Crystal’s recipes but I just noticed it. Also, ever since meeting her, I read everything she writes with an Aussie accent in my mind.

    • Are cups and tablespoons metric? If so, wow! If not, I commend Crystal for not discriminating in making us frantically google conversion tables!

  6. I hope you know I plan on using AS get baked recipes to woo ladies at university next year.

  7. This looks so good, I already want to marry it. Maybe I’ll make it this weekend and watch Fried Green Tomatoes/simultaneously cry all over myself. Best plan ever, thank you Crystal.

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